Now in its eighth year, the three-day Moshito Music Conference is South Africa’s only annual music confab attended primarily by indie labels along with music managers, artists, promoters and publishers. This year's fest included a keynote by Jim Griffin of OneHouse as well as speakers such as SXSW's Matt Sonzala and Ben Herson of Nomadic Wax.
A third pan-African music awards event, the Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards (Moamas), is flexing its muscles and acting as a platform for introducing music and artists from the continent to a broader audience, featuring over 30 categories covering Africa and the Diaspora.
Paul Simon performed his 1986 Grammy Award winning record "Graceland" at a small TV studio in South Africa with many of the recording's original musicians, including members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The set was filmed as part of a documentary Simon is making about the album. The show was dedicated to the late-Miriam Makeba. Hugh Masekela also performed.
Freshlyground, the South African Afro-pop outfit, expanded its fanbase following its 2010 FIFA World Cup Official Song collaboration with Shakira, “Waka Waka (It’s Time For Africa)" (Sony). Now the Cape Town-based seven-piece are again collaborating on a high-profile sporting anthem – this time it's the official fan song for the South African Rugby Union’s bid for the IRB Rugby World Cup.
South Africa’s homegrown urban youth genre, kwaito, proved its enduring hold on the country’s music scene at this weekend’s 17th Annual MTN South African Music Awards where Professor took home a show leading four awards. The panel also recognized urban dance duo Liquideep, named Thandiswa Mazwai female artist of the year and rewarded Locnville with best newcomer and best selling album honors.
Zim Ngqawana, widely considered one of South Africa’s preeminent contemporary jazz composers and performers, has died. Ngqawana, a saxophonist and flautist, studied with jazz legends Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef and also performed with New York-based musicians William Parker, Matthew Shipp and Nasheet Waits as the Zimology Quartet.